Then Jesus said,
“I came into this world for judgment,
so that those who do not see might see,
and those who do see might become blind.”
The Goal of our life is to live with God forever.
God, who loves us, gave us life.
Our own response of love allows God’s life
to flow into us without limit.
David Fleming, SJ, Principle & Foundation
… This unfolding towards my fullness in God, takes place in,
and through, the very realities that touch my life…
I can open myself to let this unfolding take place, and I can also block it.
… Every time I block life in me to unfold,
I am blocking my movement towards God.
(e.g. every time I give in to my fear I am blocking my movement to God).
Fr. Cecil Azzopardi, SJ, Retreat Notes, 2013
In this Sunday’s gospel John tells us the story of the blind man who saw and of all those around him who did not want to see. It brought back to my mind a recent moment of understanding.
In his Principle and Foundation, St Ignatius tells us that we come from Godde, belong to Godde, and are destined to Godde. All the while, there is a catch, however. I can choose to say yes or to say no to Godde in my life. If I say yes, David Fleming explains, I allow Godde’s life to flow into me without limit.
Why would I want to stop that flow into me? Well, through desires that do not fit with Godde’s desires for me. Any treasure which does not happen to be Godde may come in the way, whether my wish for power, money, or status. Or these unfreedoms which are scattered through my life: resentments, grudges, fears…
After having prayed David Fleming’s Principle & Foundation, I have come to want this unlimited flow of Godde into my life. I also realized that loving Godde is good (I assume), but allowing Godde to love me is much better. How do I let Godde love me? How do I open myself to Her love?
It is when I reread Cecil’s notes last week that an insight dawned on me: any time I act out of fear, i.e. any time I close myself to situations so that I will not be hurt again, or when I just do not quite forgive what happened in the past, I close myself to Godde’s life flow into me. And I have done this for most of my life.
Interestingly, fear which I saw as a way of protecting me has in fact prevented me to be open to life’s flow. What a pity.
I must have been four or five when I learned the Our Father, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us… Forgiveness has been an on-going struggle because I felt asked to be ‘nice’ to folks that had not been so with me. The minute, however, and this quite recently, that I understood that by not forgiving I was preventing Godde’s life to flow through me in an unlimited manner, any hesitation to forgive or desire to protect myself from pain was swept away.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
I saw. Godde’s grace helped me see what is obvious to me now. I laughed it suddenly looked so easy. If I want to experience Godde’s life and love, and I do, I have to let go of all that I have placed in my own life that prevents Godde from flowing through me.
I am not saying that I have found how to allow Godde to love me. I still instinctively want to love Godde, because I feel love for Godde. But I may well want to love Godde because then I feel in control of the times we meet. Or so I think. I do not invite Godde in my room at 5 pm for tea. I go in my room and make myself available for Godde, just in case…
This is a small step on my journey to Godde; but this small step brought quite a bit of joy and lightness in my life when I took it.
Art: Blind Spot, found here.